Rawlplug in Pacific countries – new development perspectives
Insights into our expansion in this area of the world told to us in an exclusive interview with Dan Lee Zhang Feng, Rawlplug representative in Singapore.
Dan, as someone who has worked in the construction industry in this part of the world for a number of years, how do you foresee Rawlplug developing in the Asian Pacific region?
The opportunities in the Asian Pacific region are huge for Rawlplug. When we speak with building consultants and with customers, they already know the brand. It’s a brand with heritage, and they have bought and used Rawlplug products in the past. So there is already an awareness there for us to capitalise on. We can go in and offer tremendous support to the regional market. There are fantastic opportunities in terms of anchoring and drill bits in particular, but also for the Rawlplug offer as a whole.
What kind of challenges do you expect to have in your everyday work?
One of the main challenges is that Rawlplug is seen by younger customers as a new brand on the market. This is where we need to spend time and effort before we move upwards. We need to educate consultants and together we need to reach out to customers. We need to overcome the natural scepticism of customers when it comes to something new. To prove as quickly as we can just how good these products are. So this will entail increasing that awareness, exhibiting at every opportunity, and providing a lot of demonstrations in partnership with our distributors. This is the challenge I am working on right now.
As you said, we need to highlight our strengths, for example our Sustainability Policy. Is this important in the Asian Pacific market?
It is really great to hear that the company is very concerned with sustainability. It is great that we will be starting our work in the region with these achievements already in place and proving to be a success. In Asia sustainability is something which is not well developed at the moment. In many cases, the environment is given something of a low priority. So if we choose the right partners, and we educate and inform them of our sustainability goals, we will stand out as a company which cares for the environment. Companies that care for the environment gain respect.
Which other Rawlplug characteristics are important to your region? How should we highlight them?
We are looking to a hold a big symposium. Here you can cater to all the engineers and contractors, discussing anchoring and design solutions, and then you can disseminate new information about products like roofing fasteners or façade anchors. Highlighting that we are stronger than our competitors in areas like this is essential. Innovations such as zinc flake coatings and hot dip galvanisation should be given exposure too.
What about seismic requirements?
Many of countries in the region are in seismic zones. Specific construction requirements exist to offer the best possible protection against earthquakes. Fixings need to fit in with these requirements. Rawlplug already has a number of products which have been approved for use in seismic areas and we are looking to provide more.
Looking to the future, what are Rawlplug’s plans to expand in this region?
We already have a good product sales system in place, and we offer great quality and service. In three years’ time I think we will have extended the market reach in line with company strategy, and we will be achieving a good level of growth. Even after just a few months you can see proof of the opportunities available; the sales are already coming in. So by making sure we are working with the right partners and extending that market reach to every country in the region, we can be sure that sales will grow over the next three years. I am convinced that we have the quality, and we have a working strategy and the right people, so our impact on the market should show a consistent improvement. We know exactly where the growth opportunities are and what our strengths are. We just need to tailor production to maximise our efforts. There is so much room for expansion and we can make plans accordingly.
Finally, Dan, could you please tell us a little more about yourself and about Singaporean culture?
With pleasure. I am working in Rawlplug since end of 2015. I have over thirty years of diverse experience in the construction industry, graduated in management studies and I have a bachelor’s degree in construction. I am married with two grown-up daughters. We are a very happy family. No matter how busy we are we make time to be together for dinner every Saturday. Singaporeans are always looking forwards. It is a very small country; we don’t have resources so we always look to high technology to help us grow. Our culture is very similar to China. It has the same mentality, and the same culture in terms of behaviour. If it is a happy occasion you will see red things. Red means happiness so you will always see gifts wrapped in red. Like in China and Taiwan.